Guitars - Line in or Mic?

Hey guys,

Was just wondering what the general opinion is on recording guitars?

I’ve always opted for a simple line-in to eliminate background noise etc, but was wondering if there are any advantages to mic-ing up an amp.


With electric guitars the enormous advantage of mic’ing up an amp is that you get something close to the sound of the amplified guitar. For many electric guitar players the amp is very much a part of their instrument.

For acoustic guitars, you will get the most natural sound by mic’ing up the guitar (with a reasonable quality microphone).

Anything that involves “A Microphone” also involves recording the room that it’s in. So yes, if you’re fond of messing with the effects on your amplifier or like the sound of the cabinet, then you have no choice but to use the live microphone. But if you have a very live or noisy room, then hard wired may be for you.

I measured it once because this comes up constantly. One of the editor’s electric guitars will put out a signal just shy of full line level during an expressive strum. I can well imagine that plugging his instrument into a very sensitive microphone input can cause distortion and damage.